This 2 day gorilla safari is designed to suit the time constrained travelers who limit themselves to visiting only the Volcanoes National Park to track the Mountain Gorillas and depart.
If there is a Rwanda safari that brings you any closer, on foot, to wild beasts that share 98% of our DNA, don’t look any further. Let us show you how it feels to be close to these magnificent creatures.
One second you are bushwhacking through thickets of bamboo in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, pulling yourself up a steep lava slope, toehold to toehold. The next, you turn a corner and sunlight streams through the canopy to illuminate a matted clump of black against a curtain of rain forest green. You’ve known this was coming and still you gasp. Seated perhaps 30 feet away is one of the roughly 900 mountain gorillas remaining on earth, a saggy-breasted female, and soon you see that she is cradling an infant in her lap. She wraps one arm around the 6-month-old while scratching her own ear with an extended index finger.
She is the advanced sentry for the Hirwa family, a clan of 20, and to the extent that she seems to care at all about our arrival, her attitude smacks of “What took you so long?” We freeze, then tiptoe forward to give all eight trekkers in our group a clear sightline. Cameras are unholstered faster than six-shooters at a gunfight. Soon two siblings tumble out of the brush, abruptly disrupting the maternal one-on-one time. As the imps wrestle and roll, the mother flops on her back in surrender.Any anthropomorphism must be forgiven; it is impossible not to be struck by the humanoid nature of these neighbors on the evolutionary chain. While observing so much of African wildlife — warthogs, elephants, giraffes — one marvels at their prehistoric form and questions our placement in the same biological class. With the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, which share 98 percent of our DNA, we look into a mirror, and they are looking impassively back.